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By Michael Whitmer | Globe Staff

FOXBOROUGH — They might not have come right out and said it, cheap fast asleep strips online but the Patriots were fully aware of the attention given to the Houston Texans and their preference for play-action passes on offense.

So when quarterback Tom Brady perfectly sold a handoff the second time the Patriots had the ball, cheap fast asleep strips online receiver Brandon Lloyd never broke stride, cheap fast asleep strips online blowing past the Texans who bit on the run possibility. Cheap fast asleep strips online He caught Brady’s pass without a defender near him, cheap fast asleep strips online coasting into the end zone and pushing the Patriots’ lead to 14-0 in a game they would win handily, cheap fast asleep strips online 42-14, cheap fast asleep strips online Monday night at Gillette Stadium.

“That was definitely a scheme play, cheap fast asleep strips online” Lloyd said. Cheap fast asleep strips online “We worked hard on that all week, cheap fast asleep strips online and when the opportunity presented itself, cheap fast asleep strips online Coach [Josh] McDaniels called it at the right time and we were able to take advantage of it.”

Lloyd took advantage of his opportunities, cheap fast asleep strips online catching seven passes for 89 yards, cheap fast asleep strips online his second-highest total of the season.

He scored two touchdowns, cheap fast asleep strips online the second coming on a fumble recovery in the end zone, cheap fast asleep strips online after Danny Woodhead lost the ball on a screen pass. Cheap fast asleep strips online The ball bounced forward, cheap fast asleep strips online with Lloyd diving on it. Cheap fast asleep strips online Not how it’s drawn up, cheap fast asleep strips online but the way the night went.

“Just a screen pass, cheap fast asleep strips online we do our best to block downfield, cheap fast asleep strips online and unfortunately the ball popped out, cheap fast asleep strips online” Lloyd said. Cheap fast asleep strips online “But we were there to make the play.”

All lined up

Since the start of the season, cheap fast asleep strips online the Patriots’ depth chart on the offensive line read more like a wish list than a realistic starting lineup, cheap fast asleep strips online with an assortment of injuries resulting in five different combinations.

For the first time in a month, cheap fast asleep strips online and just the sixth time this season, cheap fast asleep strips online the Patriots began the game with the five players who are designated by the team as its starters: Nate Solder at left tackle, cheap fast asleep strips online Logan Mankins at left guard, cheap fast asleep strips online Ryan Wendell at center, cheap fast asleep strips online Dan Connolly at right guard, cheap fast asleep strips online and Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle.

The group was made whole again with the return of Mankins, cheap fast asleep strips online who had missed three consecutive games — and five of six — with ankle and calf injuries. Cheap fast asleep strips online He was back at practice last week, cheap fast asleep strips online in a limited role, cheap fast asleep strips online but was in the starting lineup Monday night, cheap fast asleep strips online relegating Donald Thomas to reserve status.

Another key starter also returned from injury, cheap fast asleep strips online with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones, cheap fast asleep strips online back after sitting out two games with an ankle injury.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski missed his third straight game with a broken forearm. Cheap fast asleep strips online The other inactive players were offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Markus Zusevics, cheap fast asleep strips online defensive linemen Jake Bequette and Ron Brace, cheap fast asleep strips online safety Derrick Martin, cheap fast asleep strips online and fullback James Develin, cheap fast asleep strips online who was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Nov. Cheap fast asleep strips online 28, cheap fast asleep strips online but has yet to play.

Bolden: Return man

The Patriots made the expected move official roughly three hours before kickoff, cheap fast asleep strips online activating Brandon Bolden to the 53-man roster and making him eligible to play against the Texans after the running back served a four-game suspension.

Bolden, cheap fast asleep strips online a rookie from Mississippi, cheap fast asleep strips online was suspended by the NFL on Nov. Cheap fast asleep strips online 9 for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Cheap fast asleep strips online He hadn’t played since Oct. Cheap fast asleep strips online 14 at Seattle, cheap fast asleep strips online when he injured a knee against the Seahawks. Cheap fast asleep strips online The injury cost him two games, cheap fast asleep strips online then the suspension added four more.

With 234 yards on 43 carries, cheap fast asleep strips online Bolden came into the Texans game with the second-most rushing yards for the Patriots, cheap fast asleep strips online and his 5.4-yard average led the team. Cheap fast asleep strips online Stevan Ridley has been the workhorse since Bolden was forced out, cheap fast asleep strips online gaining 486 yards in the six games Bolden missed.

Bolden declined interview requests Saturday, cheap fast asleep strips online the first time he had been spotted in the locker room since the suspension was announced. Cheap fast asleep strips online But he was ready to talk after the game, cheap fast asleep strips online in which he played on special teams and got two late carries for 11 yards.

“Felt good, cheap fast asleep strips online” Bolden said. Cheap fast asleep strips online “Missing four weeks, cheap fast asleep strips online you try not to get out of shape, cheap fast asleep strips online you keep yourself active, cheap fast asleep strips online it felt good getting out there for the first time.”

As for the suspension?

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Turning their way

Devin McCourty’s end-zone interception on Houston’s second offensive series of the game extended the Patriots’ streak of forcing at least one turnover to 24 games. Cheap fast asleep strips online The last team to force at least one turnover in every regular-season game was the 2010 Atlanta Falcons.

With the interception, cheap fast asleep strips online the Patriots have now forced 34 takeaways, cheap fast asleep strips online one behind the Chicago Bears. Cheap fast asleep strips online Their plus-24 turnover differential continues to lead the league.

“We know we have a good defense here, cheap fast asleep strips online we’ve played really well the last couple of weeks, cheap fast asleep strips online” McCourty said. Cheap fast asleep strips online “The biggest focus for us is just trying to build on that.”

Even when the Patriots fumbled the bounces went their way. Cheap fast asleep strips online Ridley lost the ball on the Patriots’ first drive of the game, cheap fast asleep strips online inside the Texans’ 5-yard-line, cheap fast asleep strips online but Aaron Hernandez jumped on it to extend the drive. Cheap fast asleep strips online On the next play, cheap fast asleep strips online Hernandez caught a 7-yard touchdown pass.



Early in the fourth quarter, cheap fast asleep strips online Woodhead fumbled after catching a screen pass and being hit from behind by J.J. Cheap fast asleep strips online Watt. Cheap fast asleep strips online The ball flew into the end zone, cheap fast asleep strips online with Lloyd diving on it for an unlikely touchdown.

Handing out Hall passes

If you’re a Patriots fan who’s never been to Canton, cheap fast asleep strips online Ohio, cheap fast asleep strips online and visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame, cheap fast asleep strips online Canton is coming to you this week. Cheap fast asleep strips online Well, cheap fast asleep strips online at least it’s coming to Foxborough. Cheap fast asleep strips online In recognition of the Hall of Fame’s 50th anniversary, cheap fast asleep strips online the busts of the five former Patriots who have been enshrined — John Hannah, cheap fast asleep strips online Andre Tippett, cheap fast asleep strips online Nick Buoniconti, cheap fast asleep strips online Mike Haynes, cheap fast asleep strips online and Curtis Martin — will be on display at the Hall at Patriot Place.

The weeklong celebration will culminate with Sunday night’s home game against the San Francisco 49ers, cheap fast asleep strips online with Tippett, cheap fast asleep strips online Haynes, cheap fast asleep strips online and Martin serving as honorary captains.

Secondary injuries

One downside to the Patriots’ victory was injuries to the defensive secondary. Cheap fast asleep strips online The Patriots announced injuries to Aqib Talib (hip) and Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring). Cheap fast asleep strips online Neither returned to the game after getting injured . Cheap fast asleep strips online . Cheap fast asleep strips online . Cheap fast asleep strips online With Julian Edelman out for the season with a foot injury, cheap fast asleep strips online Wes Welker took over the Patriots’ punt return duties. Cheap fast asleep strips online He returned four for 50 yards, cheap fast asleep strips online with a long of 31 . Cheap fast asleep strips online . Cheap fast asleep strips online . Cheap fast asleep strips online Welker also caught three passes, cheap fast asleep strips online pushing his streak of consecutive regular-season games with a catch to 107 . Cheap fast asleep strips online . Cheap fast asleep strips online . Cheap fast asleep strips online Donte Stallworth made the most of his return to the Patriots. Cheap fast asleep strips online He caught only one pass from Brady, cheap fast asleep strips online but the catch-and-run went for 63 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter, cheap fast asleep strips online making it 28-0. Cheap fast asleep strips online It was a case of practice makes perfect, cheap fast asleep strips online even if the practice had been a while ago. Cheap fast asleep strips online “That particular play is something we had worked on, cheap fast asleep strips online even in the spring, cheap fast asleep strips online’’ he said. Cheap fast asleep strips online “It was just an opportunity where they were kind of flat-footed and it gave me an opportunity to run by the guy and Tommy made a great throw. Cheap fast asleep strips online He put it up for me to catch it and that’s what I did.’’ . Cheap fast asleep strips online . Cheap fast asleep strips online . Cheap fast asleep strips online His team off until Wednesday, cheap fast asleep strips online Celtics coach Doc Rivers was spotted on the sideline observing pregame warmups, cheap fast asleep strips online wearing a Patriots red sweater and chatting up his Patriots counterpart, cheap fast asleep strips online Bill Belichick. Cheap fast asleep strips online Also in on the conversation: Boston sports fan Mark Wahlberg. Cheap fast asleep strips online Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo was also at the game, cheap fast asleep strips online wearing a No. Cheap fast asleep strips online 83 Patriots jersey . Cheap fast asleep strips online . Cheap fast asleep strips online . Cheap fast asleep strips online The Patriots extended their December winning streak to 13 games, cheap fast asleep strips online dating to a 22-21 loss at Miami on Dec. Cheap fast asleep strips online 6, cheap fast asleep strips online 2009. Cheap fast asleep strips online It ties the Patriots for the second-longest such streak with the Dallas Cowboys, cheap fast asleep strips online who accomplished the feat from 1968-72. Cheap fast asleep strips online The record belongs to the San Diego Chargers, cheap fast asleep strips online winners of 18 straight from 2006-09. Cheap fast asleep strips online New England also has won 21 straight games in the second half of the regular season. Cheap fast asleep strips online The Patriots went 8-0 in the second half of 2010, cheap fast asleep strips online 8-0 in 2011, cheap fast asleep strips online and have won their first five this season. Cheap fast asleep strips online The last loss from the back half of the schedule came in the regular-season finale in 2009, cheap fast asleep strips online when the Patriots lost at Houston, cheap fast asleep strips online 34-27 … In a pre-game Twitter message, cheap fast asleep strips online self-described Patriots fan Donald Trump posted, cheap fast asleep strips online “Good Luck to Bob Kraft, cheap fast asleep strips online Tom Brady and Coach Bob Belichick tonight.” Needless to say, cheap fast asleep strips online the Donald got plenty of unwanted attention for his fumble . Cheap fast asleep strips online . Cheap fast asleep strips online . Cheap fast asleep strips online Keep an eye out for Jerod Mayo on Tuesday. Cheap fast asleep strips online He’ll be joining Subway spokesman Jared Fogle during multiple appearances around town, cheap fast asleep strips online thanking unassuming fans with a dozen acts of kindness.

Michael Whitmer can be reached at mwhitmer@globe.com. Cheap fast asleep strips online Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.

Source: http://bostonglobe.com/sports/2012/12/11/logan-mankins-returns-makes-patriots-line-whole/A1Xtp2mNJfSRC0vUxtSlUI/story.html